Venice
March 1584

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Institute of Historical Research

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Horatio F. Brown (editor)

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1894

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83-87

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'Venice: March 1584', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8: 1581-1591 (1894), pp. 83-87. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=95209 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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March 1584

March 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.199. Vincenzo Gradenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The gentleman sent by the Queen of England arrived here four days ago. He has not yet been presented to his Majesty. He has, however, had an interview with Don Juan d'Idiaquez. His mission is to justify the Queen for her vigorous dismissal of Don Bernardino de Mendoza, his Majesty's Ambassador in England, Mendoza, for some time past has represented in his despatches that the attack upon England was an easy matter. On the faith of this a certain Hercules, an engineer, was sent to spy the forts, and a proper place for landing troops. They intended to act in concert with the King of Scotland, so that he should make a contemporaneous attach on that side. With a view to further this object negotiations for the marriage of the King of Scotland to the Infanta Margaret, daughter of the Empress, were opened. But everything went wrong, for the Empress said she would rather make a nun of her daughter than marry her to a King of Scotland. This angered the King of Spain very much; who even thought of naming the dowry without consulting the Empress. Hercules, the engineer, reported that the forts on the English coast were numerous, and therefore a landing could not easily be effected; all the more so as the Queen has taken care to garrison them with sufficient troops. Then all Mendoza's designs were found out, with the result that he was ordered to leave England within a given time. This has seriously disturbed the Ministers here, and made them doubt that Mendoze's life was in danger. I shall endeavour to find out what the English representative says to his Catholic Majesty, and will inform your Serenity.
Madrid, 1st March 1584.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 2. Original Despatch, Venetian, Archives.200. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Bernardino di Mendoza, the Spanish representative dismissed from England, arrived at the house of the Spanish agent here the day before yesterday. He told me that Monsieur, at the request of the Queen of England, had sent forty horse and two hundred men close up to Calais, where he disembarked, in order to arrest him. He says he was dismissed on various false suspicions. He kept the Spanish Ambassador in Rome and the Spanish resident in Venice informed of all that took place in England about the ships for Constantinople, with a view to assisting your Serenity to counteract the damage to your interests.
Last week the Ambassador of Scotland arrived in Paris. He is a great noble and a good Catholic; therefore greatly hated by the Queen of England, who refused him a passport, and, as he says, sent five ships to capture him. He fell in with one of these, but escaped by declaring that he was a merchant, and that the Ambassador had taken another route.
Paris, 2nd March 1584.
[Italian.]
March 6. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.201. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The Emperor has been informed that the apostate Archbishop of Cologne, finding himself in great straits and deserted by everyone, has appealed to Denmark, England, and the Prince of Orange, for help in his distress, but it is held for certain that he will get nothing.
He is in disgrace with men and out of favour with God, for all his affairs go from bad to worse, even his brothers who supported him are in misfortune; Carlo in prison, and Ferdinando, worried by pet bear which he kept in his house, is in danger of his life.
Prague, 6th March 1584.
[Italian.]
March 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.202. Giovanni Francesco Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
As regards English a fairs your Serenity will have learned from my despatches all that the French Ambassador has done. As yet he has not succeeded in getting an answer to his note. I have been informed in confidence by one who is in the Grand Chancellery, that the Pasha has had orders to attempt to pacify the Ambassador by saying that his Majesty neither kept nor expelled any who came to his Porte, as he desired it to be open to all, both to friends and foes alike. All the same the Pasha has never given any reply to the Ambassador, who lives in retreat, and will not attend his Majesty's audiences until further orders from his King, though he makes frequent complaints to the Pasha. From this your Serenity can judge of the position of affairs, and the small prospect there is of a favourable end. Add to this the loss of Benveniste, and the weakness of the Pasha, and it is clear that the situation is all but desperate. If I had had the orders I now hold, and the power to bribe, I am certain the desired object would have been gained. At the audience of condolence, for the death of the Sultana Mother, I asked the Pasha whether I could talk freely with him. He replied that I might rest assured that any remarks of mine would be kept profoundly secret. I proceeded to say that I saw how displeased the French Ambassador was because, in violation of repeated promises not to receive an Ambassador or Bailo of the Queen of England, one was not only received but treated as an equal of himself, the Ambassador of so great a King and an hereditary ally of the Sultan; that as a good friend to the Pasha, I urged him not to lose this French alliance and replace it by one less beneficial during his period of authority; for his Excellency could see how little good the English brought to Constantinople. In a whole year only one English ship has reached the city, and that such a small one that it did not bring a sixth of the cargo a Venetian ship would carry. Moreover the Englishman had more guns than goods, which proved that her real object was to go pirating on her way home. The English did not need Turkish goods, for they were abundantly supplied with wool and leather the two most important articles of Turkish export. The goods the English brought were neither abundant in quantity nor excellent in quality; the maintenance of an English Ambassador here was therefore a useless expense for his Majesty, besides jeopardising the French alliance.
The Pasha replied, thanking me for what I had said, and told me that On the presentation of the note he had made urgent insistence with the Sultan; but his Majesty did not see how he could now expel the English Ambassador. At first it would hare been easy enough, but now the insult to the Queen would be too great. The Sultan desired his Porte to be open to all; he gave instructions to try an accommodation by which France should not demand the expulsion of the English, while the English should fly the French flag; the Pasha, had treated with the English Ambassador on this point, exhorting him to give this satisfaction to France, so as to settle the difficulty; but the English Ambassador replied that they would rather lose their lives than yield to France, whose religion and objects were different from theirs; besides, the Queen would not submit to any one, as she was an absolute sovereign, and least of all to the King of France. In short, the Pasha did not know what to do; for it was not advisable that the Sultan should send and foreably seize the English flags on the ships that bore them, in order to substitute the flag of France. He was anxious to find a remedy for these difficulties, and was obliged by my advice, but could not see his way to taking it, I replied that his Magnificence was so ready in expedients that he would surely find a way if he desired to do so; but he declared on his oath that he knew of none, as the Sultan desired to insult no one. I saw he was resolute, and thought it advisable not to press him further, and introduced another topic. As I was taking my leave the Pasha himself returned to the subject of the French Ambassador, saying that he was truly sorry that the Ambassador should be dissatisfied; but that he was a terrible man, and when things did not go as he wished, he too easily flew into a passion. The Sultan was ill pleased with him and his King, for on the occasion of the festival for the Sultan's son, while all other princes had made suitable presents, the King of France mho claimed to be so great a sovereign, had sent a watch only; at which the Sultan was very indignant, and took it rather as a mark of contempt than of friendship; and yet the Ambassador asks for many favours. To which I only answered that his Magnificence was very prudent, and would consider how undesirable it was that this ancient alliance should come to an end in his time. Then the Grand Chancellor was announced, and that put an end to the conversation. I took my leave and returned home. I told the French Ambassador what had passed, but with caution so as not to anger him. From this your Serenity will see that although the Pasha is anxious about the dissatisfaction of France he does not wish to lose the friendship of England; and as he receives many presents from England and none from France, it is unlikely that the matter will have the issue you desire. I have not offered the Pasha any money in this affair, as I am empowered to do, because since Benveniste left the Pasha has discussed the subject with no one through whom I could make a proposal, and also because the decision rests with the Sultan and the Pasha has not authority sufficient I therefore thought it best to make no move, of that sort, for the nature of the Turk is such that if I had made any offer he would never rest till he had received the money, and if it did not satisfy him he would be hostile. I shall continue to do all I can to satisfy your serenity. The Aga of the Janissaries is very powerful, and might be of use to the Republic, for he is in high favour, and, gets from the Sultan all he asks far; but nothing can be done unless the road be opened by presents; and it is not the habit of the Republic to make presents to the Ago except on the arrival of a new Bailo. All the same I should recommend it in this case.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 6th March 1584.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 203. Vincenzo Gradenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English gentleman has not yet susceeded in obtaining an audience. He is very anxious about it. He has spoken twice to Idiaquez; but he has declined to discuss the object of his mission, as he affirms that his mistress ordered him to explain it to no one but the King himself They say that the reason for refusing this audience is that they wish to see Don Bernardino here first. He is expected.
Madrid, 8th March 1584.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.204. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The new Ambassador of Scotland has had an audience of his Majesty; it was, apparently, merely complimentary.
Don Bernardino has been to see the Queen-Mother, on her invitation.
Don Antonio of Portugal has been some days in Paris; urging the Queen-Mother to assist him.
Paris, 16th March 1584.
[Italian.]
March 20 Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.205. Giovanni Francesco Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 12th instant, letters from your Serenity arrived here under date of the 6th February. From them I learn that the courier was sent chiefly to convey letters from the King of France to his Ambassador residing here, with orders to cause the expulsion of the English Ambassador. I would humbly point out that the French Ambassador in Venice probably had some other reason for desiring to forward the royal despatches at once, as I easily discovered in. talking with the French Ambassador here that the alleged cause was not the teal cause, of the despatch of this courier; for when I urged him to make new representations to the Sultan on this matter he replied very coldly that he would not fail; and when I insisted and repeated what your Serenity told me, that the French Ambassador in Venice had said in College that the despatch contained orders to speak to the, Sultan in person, he answered quite frankly that the French, Ambassador had told a big lie, for the. King said never a word about that, but only that he was waiting to hear the result of the note; and about England, that he wan to follow previous instructions; if the. Sultan did, not come to a resolution on the matter, the Ambassador was to art in concert with, your Serenity's Bailo, who had positive orders from you to co-operate with him. The present despatch merely Muted that a successor had been named, Monsignore de l'Ancona. However, I suspect some other secret negotiation; for two days after receiving the despatch the Ambassador had an interview with the Aga of the Janizzaries, to whom he took letters from his King. On his return, he came straight to me and said he had, spoken at length with, the Ago, who had promised to make strong representations to the Sultan for the removal of the English Ambassador He also said that, in spite of his resolve not to go again to the Pasha fill he had received, an answer from his King, the Aga had advised him to go, and he would do so. I will take care to keep your Serenity informed; and when the Ambassador has visited, the Pasha, I will do the swine a few days later, as it is possible the Pasha may enlarge on the subject to me. I will also endeavour to discover the reply of the Aqa about England; and if I see any ground for hoping for a useful result, I will apply à present of money to the Pasha in the most cautious way I can.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 20th March 1584.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.206. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I have it on good authority that pressure is being brought to bear on the King to induce him to form an alliance with England against Spain, but that he pays little heed as yet. The Queen is all the more anxious for this alliance because the visit of the Scotch Ambassador makes her suspect a renewal of the ancient treaties between Scotland and France. She is the more suspicious because the Ambassador is a Catholic, and hears mass in public every day, keeps company with Papists as they say (conversando sempre con Papisti come essi dicono), and is intimate with the Nuncio, who gave him a banquet. It is thought not impossible that the Queen, whose information is excellent, may use twelve ships she has fitted out, to annoy the King of Scotland, by supporting his rebels.
Paris, 30th March 1584.
[Italian.]